Fred Parris, 'In The Still of the Night' Singer With The Five Satins, Dead at 85

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Fred Parris
Fred Parris, pictured left, with The Five Satins (Getty)

Fred Parris, a songwriter best known for being part of The Five Satins and its 1956 ballad "In The Still of the Night," has died. He was 85.

The group's Facebook page released a statement Friday saying Parris died following a brief illness. The illness was not disclosed. 

"Sadly the music world lost one of the greats yesterday as Fred Parris passed away after a brief illness," the statement read. "Fred's classic song 'In the Still of the Night' has been recognized as one of the greatest love songs of all time and the number one requested song of the doo-wop era."

"Fred also wrote several other classic songs," the statement continued, "and his gorgeous voice enthralled audiences world-wide for decades. The Five Satins family is devastated by his loss but appreciative of having shared Fred's music with thousands of fans and friends. Future plans for services will be posted as they become available. Rest in peace Maestro Fred Parris."

The track was featured in the Dirty Dancing, The Irishman and The Buddy Holly Story, but the song, recorded in the basement of a Connecticut church, wasn't so popular upon its initial release. In fact, Parris, who was on military leave when he recorded the classic track, was back on active duty and in Japan by the time the song took off.

According to Billboard, the song hit No. 3 on the R&B charts and No. 24 on the top charts. "In the Still of the Night" is also the only song to chart on Billboard's Hot 100 three separate times (1956, 1960, 1961). The distinction's noteworthy because it's the only time that's happened with the same artist with the same version of the song. Boyz II Men would go on to cover the song in 1991 in its debut album, Cooleyhighharmony.

Parris told the New Haven Register in 2014 that he "never expected [the song] to have so much of an impact.

"I didn't know if they were going to listen to it 15 minutes later, let alone 50 years," he told the newspaper. "That song changed my life."

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